Quarantining plants, before adding to your main aquarium, is the best practice to prevent any foreign material or unwanted pests being accidentally introduced to your tank. This is a very easy and inexpensive practice, and can save you from a lot of trouble in the future. Today we will discuss everything about plant quarantine.
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Why Should We Quarantine Plants?
Yes, we buy plants from big shops, that import from abroad. Sometimes we collect from fellow hobbyists as well. However, there is no way of knowing the conditions they were grown in or in holding, and it is better to be safe than to be sorry. A lot of times snails, snail eggs, algae or pest plants like bladderwort come into our tank just because the new plants were not quarantined. A few simple ways can save you a lot of headache in the future.
How To Quarantine Plants?
There are three options you can apply to quarantine plants –
- Salt Dip
- Hydrogen Peroxide Dip
- Potassium Permanganate Dip
Method #1: Salt Dip
Prepare a bowl or bucket of water and add non-iodized salt (Molla Salt) in the ratio of 1 tablespoon per gallon. Mix it thoroughly. Then dip the new plants in that container for 10 mins. After that, rinse the plants thoroughly in fresh water. This will kill any snails or snail eggs.
Method #2: Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) Dip
Method #3: Potassium Permanganate (PP) Dip
Potassium Permanganate is readily available in local drug stores and also very cheap. In a bucket take some fresh water and slow add PP while mixing the water until the water turns dark pink color. The dip the plants in there for 10 mins. After that, rinse the plants thoroughly in fresh water. This will kill most algae.
CAUTION: ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES WHILE HANDLING ANY CHEMICALS AS PP CAN REACT WITH YOUR SKIN.
So, what would be the best practice? First dip in salt water and rinse the plants, then rinse in fresh water, then use either H2O2 or PP Dip, then rinse in fresh water again, then use in main tank. Note that, PP Dip is more gentle on the plants than H2O2, but H2O2 has higher chance or removing stubborn algae like BBA. Best of luck with your planted tank!
For a successful planted tank you will need –